The Kingdom called on the international community to take bold and immediate measures to reduce the loss of lives, and to accelerate efforts to contain the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 on humanity, and the importance of international cooperation in eradicating the epidemic.
Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah confirmed in a speech before the 73rd World Health Assembly that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken very important precautions and steps at an early stage in the crisis of COVID-19. These early measures had a clear effect in delaying the entry of the disease into the Kingdom, which reduced the effects of the pandemic, as a result of which the deaths caused by the epidemic decreased and the health system had a high capacity to contain it in health facilities.
Al-Rabiah clarified that the Kingdom has taken effective steps in the field of cooperation with the international community to address the pandemic, and all steps were based on adhering to the international health regulations and in response to the call of G20 leaders during the virtual summit on March 26, and to bridge the current financing gap to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed a sum of $ 500 million to support international efforts in addressing the Coronavirus pandemic, including the global health system, and $ 80 million has been earmarked for global emergency response activities, health systems development and training, and support for early warning and alert systems and response to epidemics in response to WHO appeal.
The Minister of Health pointed out that the Kingdom’s Presidency of G20, and in implementation of the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, is working closely with the relevant authorities to identify gaps in global preparations against the spread of infectious diseases in the medium and long term, with the aim of creating a global initiative to address these gaps and to increase global preparations against outbreaks of infectious diseases in the medium term.
He said that the basic skills and capabilities necessary to develop vaccines and medicines for emerging diseases still need development and testing, and launching vaccines and qualitative medicines to contribute to reducing the effects of the disease and reduce its human, economic and social impacts and until reaching these means, ensuring their accessibility to all is very important.
Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah called for investing in strengthening the systems of preparedness and response so that we are better prepared to save people's lives and preserve their well being.